October 19, 2010
A new study confirms that male testosterone is a disadvantage, compare to women, when trying to survive severe physical trauma.
Research from John Hopkins analyzed over 48,000 patients who had been in a critical accident and arrived in the ER with low blood pressure -- indicating significant blood loss.
There were no difference in survival rates regardless of the patient's sex for children under 12 and adults over 65.
But for people 13 to 64 who are at the whim of hormonal activity, women were 14% more likely to survive than men in a critical accident.
The statistic remained strong even after researchers removed all other variables like race, insurance status and specific injuries.
There have been studies in mice that confirm these findings. The female mice are more likely to survive unless the male mice have been castrated.
Therefore, something about testosterone diminishes male survival while estrogen is more protective. Perhaps because estrogen has more immune-enhancing effects which could help stabilize the body when it is in traumatic shock.
This study may lead to treating severely injured men with drugs that temporarily reduce male hormones. There has been little improvement in recent years that have increased survival rates among critically injured patients, and this study could turn the corner in saving more lives.
"If we can come up with ways to manipulate those hormones in men. . .we might be able to improve their survival," the lead author of the study, Dr. Adil H. Haider, said in a news release.
Read the whole story at the Los Angeles Times
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